Tuesday, February 24, 2009

City grooming up for Attukal Pongala

Trivandrum city is grooming up for the Attukal Pongala. Huge arches were being erected across the main roads welcoming the devotees and also annoucing the Pongala. Many of them were erected either by the business houses or by voluntary organisations. Huge hoardings welcoming the devotees can be seen in most of the junctions in the vicinity of Attukal Devi temple. Today the first batch of potters arrived in the city from Tamil Nadu, with their hand made earthern pots. Pongala is traditionally made in earthern pots, which also register a good business during Pongala season.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Trivandrum city celebrating Shivratri

Attukal Amma
Trivandrum city is reverberating with chants and matras of Lord Shiva; and people are gathering in every temple premise to celebrate the Shivratri with whole hearted devotion. The main temples of Lord Shiva like the Sreekanteswaram temple, Kazhakkoottam Mahadevar temple, Kanthalloor Shiva temple etc. were crowded right from yesterday. In fact the arrival of Shivratri amidst the longing of Pongala has created a divine atmosphere in the city.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Shivratri at Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple on the eve of Shivratri

Shivratri worship at Attukal

Attukal Temple on the eve of Shivratri
The temples in the Trivandrum city witnessed a heavy rush on the eve of Shivrathri. Heavy turn out of devotees were seen in Shiva Temples, particularly Sreekandeswaram Mahadeva Temple. The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum also recorded a heavy rush.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Temple in the morning shine

Attukal temple

Preparations for pongala in full swing

The morning was misty and the air was still cold, I witnessed a great rush to make offerings to Attukal Amma. The festival orginisers are busy with decorating the temple. Now the temple adorns a new look with the specially made electric illuminations. The various government wings have also started their work like cleaning the drainages, repairing the pipes, re-tarring the roads, around three square kilometres around the temple. These measures are necessary to ensure better health and sanitary conditions so as to accomodate lakhs of women who arrive to give pongala offerings. The Trivandrum City Corporation and the Health departments are also very much cautious of the situation, particularly in the wake of the recent dengue fever outbreak. Along with these the local people are also giving their whole-hearted support for making Attukal pongala 2009, a great event.

Scenes from the temple ground

Scenes from the temple - preparing electric illuminations

Temple grooming up

The Attukal temple is grooming up for the festival.
Every where you can see the sparkle of the festival and smiles of joy. Electric illumination, painting etc. are going on, and more than that one could feel the longing for the pongala festival in every eyes you see around. The inner feeling is so great that it vanishes the electric illuminations around as if the sun among the stars. The narrow road from the Manacaud junction to the Attukal temple has already become congested due to the heavy flow of the devotees. The sports and arts clubs and business establishments in the vicinity has started erecting banners announcing the arrival of pongala and welcoming the devotees.
Need to say more, the festival is near.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Velkavadi offered as part of the temple festival of
Panathur Subramanian Temple, Trivandrum

Kavadi is the main offering given to Lord Subramania. there are different types of kavadi. Vel kavadi, Parava kavadi, Agni kavadi, Poo kavadi etc. depending upon how the kavadi is performed. In Vel kavadi small vels (tiny pointed spears) were pierced into the flesh of the person who is performing the kavadi.


Scenes from Paravakavadi offered as part of the temple festival of
Panathur Subramanian Temple, Trivandrum
Paravakavadi is an offering made to Lord Subramania, the younger son of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvati. Kavadi is the main offering given to Lord Subramania. In Paravakavadi, the devotee hangs from wodden pole or a bamboo with iron hooks pierced into the flesh on his back, so that he looks like a bird.